Gear Review: Atlas Run Snowshoes

The name says it all - these shoes let you run.

[runner ’s choice]

“It’s the most secure running binding I’ve used,” says our tester, who spends countless winter days zipping up and down the vast network of groomed and ungroomed snowshoe trails of Washington’s Methow Valley. The Run’s bindings, he says, stayed snug on his running shoes even after a strenuous half-marathon. (Tip: Though the criss-cross pattern of webbing straps is designed for one-pull tightening, allow some extra tugging time to get them completely secure before setting out, especially when the webbing is wet.) The bindings are mounted to the tubular aluminum frame with a pair of twisting elasticized straps. These let your foot move freely up and down during strides, while keeping the snowshoes snug to your boot when you lift your foot clear off the snow. This reduces drag, allowing a more efficient running stride. Even for our 220-pound tester, the coated nylon/polyester decking material provided flotation on packed and consolidated snow (he floundered in unpacked powder). The rugged steel crampons dig into ice and heavy crust with no trouble, while angled heel cleats provide firm lateral grip and prevent heel slippage even on icy, rolling hills. $200: 22 inches; 2 lbs. 14 oz.;